For the first time since the debut of the NCAA's APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores in 2004-05, the University of New Mexico Lobo athletic department received APR Public Recognition Awards for two sports. The UNM men's cross country and women's basketball teams were lauded by the NCAA for having multi-year APR scores that are in the top 10 percent in the nation. It marks the second straight year that the conference champion men's cross country team has been honored, while it's the first for the women's basketball team.

The full release of institutional APR scores for all of the NCAA's Division I universities will be released next Tuesday, and the Lobos are expected to have all 21 sports above the 925 threshold for the first time in school history.

"I am extremely proud of both our men's cross country team and our women's basketball team for earning public recognition from the NCAA," said UNM President David J. Schmidly. "We pride ourselves not just in how our athletic programs compete on the field, but in the classroom, and this is a direct reflection of that mission.

The men's cross country team has a perfect 1000 score for their four-year rolling average, while the women's basketball team is nearly perfect at 996, having scored a perfect 1000 for each of the last three years.

The APR is a mathematical formula used to by the NCAA to determine how well a university athletic team's students are progressing towards graduation. The rate of 925 is considered the benchmark towards a 50 percent graduation rate.

"Having two programs earn public recognition is not only a testament to the hard work by our coaches and student-athletes, but to our whole academic team as well, headed up by Henry Villegas," said Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. "Coming off a record fall where 60 student-athletes earned conference academic honors, having multiple teams earn APR public recognition for the first time in five years continues our goal of being the best both academically and athletically."

According to the NCAA, "The APR is calculated by allocating points for eligibility and retention - the two factors that research identifies as the best indicators of graduation. Each player on a given roster earns a maximum of two points per term, one for being academically eligible and one for staying with the institution. A team's APR is the total points of a team's roster at a given time divided by the total points possible. Since this results in a decimal number, the number is multiplied by 1,000 for ease of reference. Thus, a raw APR score of .925 translates into the 925 that will become the standard terminology."

The APR is a rolling four-year average, meaning the new scores for 2009-10 replace the 2005-06 single-rate scores, giving the school a new four-year average.

The men's cross country program received a perfect 1,000 score for the fifth consecutive year, and sixth in the seven year history of the APR. Women's basketball received a perfect 1,000 for the third straight year.

On Tuesday, May 24, the NCAA will release the APR scores for every Division I institution.

UNM Sports Receiving Public Recognition (All-time since 2004-05)
Women's Golf, 2004-05
Women's Tennis, 2004-05
Women's Tennis, 2005-06
Women's Tennis, 2006-07
Women's Tennis, 2007-08
Men's Cross Country, 2008-09
Men's Cross Country, 2009-10
Women's Basketball, 2009-10

Story courtesy of UNM Athletics Media Relations Department